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​How do I train an aggressive dog?

A dog may show aggression like growling, barking, lunging or biting for many reasons. Aggression is a normal dog behaviour but it can cause stress, injury or pain to your dog, you or others.

An aggressive dog barking and looking scary and angry

Avoid things that cause aggression

Most aggression comes from fear. Look for things your dog reacts to aggressively and stay away from them. Strangers, men, dogs or someone trying to pet him might be scary. If they’re too scary your dog might react to make them go away. Learn how to reduce and manage aggression towards people (PDF) or aggression towards dogs (PDF).

Put safety measures in place

Put safety measures in place to protect other people or dogs from getting hurt. If your dog has bitten someone or another animal, teach him to wear a muzzle so you feel safe and others are safe. Muzzles are OK.

Seek professional help for your dog

Ask your vet or a qualified force-free humane trainer for help. Get help from someone who follows the BC SPCA position on animal training.

It takes time to help change a reactive dog’s behaviour. Here are some tips for dealing with dog reactivity.